Our Way and The Klabona Keepers among 5th Annual Skoden Film Festival award winners

June 27, 2023

Many outstanding documentaries and short films by Indigenous filmmakers from across Canada were featured in this year’s 5th Annual Skoden Indigenous Film Festival. These films, split into five programs across the two-days of the festival were all in competition to take home three major awards: Audience-Choice, The Trickster Award, and Best Film.

Winners for both the Trickster Award and Best Film were decided on by a panel of Indigenous filmmakers. Judging this year’s slate of 30 films were multi-hyphenate filmmaker Tristin Greyeyes, Iris Film Collective founding member Lisa G, and guerilla filmmaker Jay Cardinal Villeneuve.

Here are this year’s Skoden Indigenous Film Festival award winners:

Audience Choice Award: The Klabona Keepers (dir. Tamo Campos & Jasper Snow-Rosen; prod. Rhoda Quock)

The Audience Choice Award is given to a film chosen by the festival audience as their favourite of the program.

The Klabona Keepers is an intimate portrait of the dynamic Indigenous community that succeeded in protecting the remote Sacred Headwaters, known as the Klabona. Spanning 15 years of matriarch-led resistance, the documentary follows a small group of determined elders as they heal from the wounds of colonization to push back against law enforcement, the government, and some of the largest multinational companies in the world.

Trickster Award: Inuktitut Languages in the 21st Century (dir. Ulivia Uviluk)

The Trickster Award is given to a filmmaker determined by the jury to have demonstrated great innovation, bucking conventions and redefining style. It is an award that values creativity over experience.

In Inuktitut Languages in the 21st Century documentarian Ulivia Uviluk explores what is accessible via the Internet in terms of Inuktitut. A tongue complex that includes several dialects and which varies from one generation to another, Inuktitut is threatened by dominant languages. Are there solutions for Inuktitut with this technology?

Best Film: Our Way (dir. Laura Fontaine & Jasmine Fontaine)

Best Film is awarded to the film chosen by Skoden’s jury panel as the most outstanding film of the festival.,

In Our Way, Two young Innu women take up the old roads of the past to revive the identity of their Nation; a tribute to the Elders, the territory and the Innu people.

Honourable mention

Honorable mention was given to the following films for their excellence:

Rose (dir. Roxann Whitebean)
Heartbeat of a Nation (dir. Eric Janvier)
Riverside Queerness (dir. Eric Plamondon)

Check out the rest of this year’s lineup, and we’ll see you all next year for the 6th instalment of Skoden, and for more excellent filmmaking!

About the Skoden Indigenous Film Festival

Founded on the principles of truth and reconciliation, the Skoden Indigenous Film Festival was created by Carr Sappier (Wolastoqew) and Grace Mathisen. It is organized and led each year by an interdisciplinary class of students from across the Faculty of Communication, Art and Technology and the School for the Contemporary Arts.